Natural consequences are the ones that happen on their own.
1. Not wearing a hat on a cold day.
2. Forgetting an umbrella on a rainy day.
3. Going to bed late when you have a early morning practice the next day.
4. Waiting too late to study and getting a bad grade.
As parents we have to let some of these consequences happen. The exceptions would be if there was a safety concern.
When they do happen, don’t shame them or rub it.
I told you so
This phrase may be hard to hold back. But try your hardest not to say it. Instead use this opportunity to do some problem solving.
Let’s do a “Do over”.
Validate their struggle. How can they do things differently? Give them time to think it over. This may take more than one conversation.
Offer some suggestions, but don’t jump in to fix everything. The key to problem solving, is working it out yourself. So you can do it again later when trouble comes up.
Problem solving works best if its a collaborative effort.
Your children did support, but they don’t need all the answers. If you give them everything, they don’t learn to think on their own. The next time they aren’t around you and a sticky situation comes up, do they think “What was it that mom told me to do?”. They go ahead and do what comes naturally and impulsively.
The skill of impulse control and problem solving in the heat of the moment can take awhile to master.
The brain is under construction until 25
Your children need time to practice. Don’t overprotect them from situations that can lead to learning.
Natural consequences are the best teachers.